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Steel buyers focus on forecasts after price U-turns

Steel buyers in Europe and North America are increasing their focus on price forecasts after values performed a quarter one U-turn.

Interest in MEPS International’s 12-month forecasts surged as the importance of an expertly-compiled market outlook was highlighted by a sharp decline in hot rolled coil prices – a marked turnaround from increases on either side of the New Year period. 

MEPS has forecast that the Europe average hot rolled coil price will bottom in May after increasing by over 21% between October and February.  

In the United States and Canada prices which grew by 52% and 38%, respectively, during quarter four of last year, started their decline in January. MEPS’s forecast shows that decline is expected to continue in the near term. 

Strategic steel buying decisions

Commenting on the price fluctuations seen in the European and North American steel market, MEPS International senior consultant Kaye Ayub said: “MEPS steel price forecasts help buyers with their strategic purchasing decisions, particularly at times like these when budgets and margins are becoming increasingly squeezed.” 

MEPS has been serving the steel industry for 45 years. Its experienced team of researchers and analysts is engaged in daily conversation with market participants across the globe, gathering first-hand accounts of market activity. 

Analysts harness its data on steel pricing to apply a methodology, which considers factors including historical trends, steel production capacity, the availability and cost of raw materials and the effect of trade defence measures on imports. 

Over 5,000 MEPS steel price data subscribers around the globe trust the resulting data to deliver a competitive advantage, ensuring they pay the right price for their material. 

MEPS’s market forecasts, meanwhile, help them determine the direction of the market in the longer term. 

Insight on market direction

Ayub said: “MEPS subscribers are confident that our steel price forecasts give them a comprehensively-researched view of the market and its direction, alongside commentaries which add context and background. 

“They acknowledge that, when prices start to move, it’s vital that they have access to information that can help them properly plan their buying decisions.” 

At the heart of MEPS’s offering is its range of monthly Steel Market Review publications, which provide steel prices, indices, market commentary and forecasts from major steel markets across the globe. 

Subscribers can easily tailor a package of products to their requirements, selecting insight from a choice of regions, products and services to guarantee a cost-effective solution to their steel market data needs. Access to MEPS data can also be provided under single- or multi-user agreements. 

Visit the Prices & IndicesPrice Forecasts or Monthly Steel Reviews sections on the MEPS website to explore the full range of steel price insight subscription products on offer.